Fifty years ago this month, Berkeley graphic designer and printer David Lance Goines made this poster for a friend who was celebrating the first anniversary of her restaurant on Shattuck Avenue. Since then, Alice Waters and the “delicious revolution” she launched in 1971 have become famous worldwide, and every year Goines has made a poster to celebrate the birthday of Chez Panisse.
We just enjoyed the pleasure of framing both the first birthday poster as well as this year’s fiftieth. The original one from ’72, which is 24″ x 15″, we set in black stained walnut, in a 1-1/4″ wide plain flat profile with rounded corners and proud splines. The 1/8″ slip, which is also rounded at the corners, is painted to match the fetching plumed redhead and her aperitif. (We made a similar frame for Goines’s poster for International House.)
Clearly referencing Toulouse-Lautrec, David Goines also says about this poster’s inspiration,
“I fell in love with this woman whom I’d drawn from imagination and dreams. Late at night I’d sit and look at her and wonder if anywhere there was a woman who had that wistful hopeful look, sipping an aperitif, making it last. Hands daintily folded waiting for me. I kept looking and then I found her and people said to her, ‘Did you pose for that poster?’ but it had been the other way around.”
This year’s 50th birthday poster got a carved cherry frame stained deep red-brown. The sloped profile sustains the radiating flowers, while the pattern of the carving echoes the shapes of the flower petals. A gilt slip repeats the gold highlights.
In 1970, even before Waters opened Chez Panisse, she and Goines collaborated on a lovely portfolio of prints called “Thirty Recipes Suitable for Framing”—which to a frame-maker is a welcome invitation. (Cover at right.) Below is a set of three from that edition, which just came through the shop as well. All are simply presented in 3/4” No. 1 frames using our Everyday Framing.
I couldn’t actually tell you how many Chez Panisse posters I’ve framed over the years. Alice Waters was a customer of Storey Framing when I worked there as a kid in the ’70’s and ’80’s, and she brought us quite a few to frame. As for how many the Studio’s framed, I’d have to scour 29 years of records to be able to say. (We have several for sale, here.) Certainly we’ve framed a whole lot of the birthday posters (have always liked the tenth, at right), as well as others such as those that originated as designs for book covers. Here are a couple, below.
Not long after starting my business, I visited Mr Goines at his studio, St Heironymous Press. He was kind enough to give me several posters, and I reciprocated by framing for him a small drawing his mother had made of him when he was a baby. I told him about my ambitions for the Studio—to be a frame shop that was a real wood shop that made every frame from scratch. I must have felt self-conscious about sounding ambitious, because I quoted Robert Browning’s “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp.” Having seen such dreams come true, David smiled warmly and replied with the rest of the line: “Else what is a heaven for?”
And More Holton Studio Connections to Chez Panisse…
Over my years, I’ve enjoyed celebrating some very special occasions at Chez Panisse (not least of all, beautifully festive New Year’s Eve anniversaries with my wife, Stephanie!). You’d be hard-pressed to find another business of any kind that is so deeply infused by its proprietor’s intense personal care—both for a cause and for her customers. (She’d probably say her customers are her cause.)
I’m fortunate to have five or six of my mirrors hanging in the restaurant and upstairs cafe. One just like the mirror below on the left hangs in the entrance. The one on the right hangs in the dining room.
And this menu below, by Patricia Curtan, remains a favorite. Patricia’s illustrations grace the restaurant’s new website, but her collaboration with Alice—and, as a printmaker with Goines, as well—goes back decades, beginning with a stint in the Chez Panisse kitchen as a pastry chef. But it was with her beautiful menu designs and illustrations for Alice’s cookbooks that she’s really made her mark as part of the restaurant’s formidable legacy. The magnolia menu here is from 1993—the year I started Holton Studio Frame-Makers. (Only 21 years to go to catch up with Chez Panisse!)
The Edible Schoolyard
My most important connection to Chez Panisse and Alice Waters, though, may be the Edible Schoolyard at King Middle School, which was a great highlight of my daughter’s education here in Berkeley. (Alice was once a Montessori teacher and has an abiding love and concern for children.) After quickly becoming a model for school gardens all over California, it’s now inspiring educators worldwide and drawing teachers from everywhere to come and learn about gardens and school curriculum. Accessible to the public outside school hours, it’s also a wonderful contribution to the life of Berkeley; and for that too I’m thankful to Alice.
To me, this picture (at right) from the Edible Schoolyard speaks volumes. Through the arts of cooking, teaching, farming, and running one wonderful restaurant and gathering place, Alice Waters has helped prove that the arts are how we—and, not least of all, children—join the world.
Many of David Goines’s Chez Panisse posters are available from the Chez Panisse online gift shop.
David Lance Goines’s website is here…
Read a profile of Goines in the San Francisco Chronicle, here…
View Holton Studio’s framed Goines posters here…« Back to Blog